Dear Boston University Community Member,

In April 2009, the University’s Bike Safety Committee surveyed the Charles River Campus cycling community. In this survey we asked questions related to riding experience, campus safety, and the availability and convenience of our cycling-related facilities, which included bike racks and storage. We ended the survey by asking for your suggestions, comments, and concerns. A total of 412 students and staff responded to the survey and a brief overview of some of the key results can be found below.

Today, the Bike Safety Committee continues its work to improve the safety of all bicyclists who travel on Boston University’s campuses.

Boston University’s Bike Safety Committee – Recent Activities

see also Safety Campaigns

2012 Bike Safety Classes

7/21/2012
Bike for Everyone: On-Bike Skills Class
Sponsored by the BU Bike Safety Committee, Mass Bike, and Boston Collaborative for Food & Fitness

9/15/2012
Bike for Everyone: On-Bike Skills Class
Sponsored by the BU Bike Safety Committee, Mass Bike, and Boston Collaborative for Food & Fitness

9/16/2012
Bike for Everyone: On-Bike Skills Class
Sponsored by the BU Bike Safety Committee, Mass Bike, and Boston Collaborative for Food & Fitness

10/13/2012
Biking for Everyone: Commuter Workshop
Sponsored by the BU Bike Safety Committee, BU Bikes, Mass Bike, and Boston Collaborative for Food & Fitness

12/10/2012
Biking for Everyone: Winter Workshop
Sponsored by the BU Bike Safety Committee, BU Bikes, Mass Bike, and Boston Collaborative for Food & Fitness and the Commonwheels Bicycle Co-Op

Bike & Pedestrian Safety Events

9/7/2012
Bike & Pedestrian Safety Table at the Comm. Ave. Fair
The Bike Safety Committee hired Urban AdvenTours to provide guides and 25 bikes for 4 hours to take students on bike safety education tours of the campus.

9/10/2012
Distributed the Mass Bicycling Coalition’s Bicyclists Ride Smarter bike safety tip sheet to every on-campus mailbox (9,000+)

9/13/2012
5th Annual Bike & Pedestrian Safety Day: Estimated attendance was 5,000

2012 Bike & Pedestrian Safety Day

Mass Bike Landry’s Bicycles
Boston Bikes REI
Boston Police Urban AdvenTours
Brookline Police WalkBoston.org
BU Police Back Bay Bicycles
BU Parking & Transportation Giant Bicycle
Sustainable BU International Bicycle
BU MED EMS
BU Bikes Superb Bicycle
BU Cycling Club City Sports
Commonwheels Bicycle Co-Op Bikes Not Bombs
Boston Cyclists Union Community Bicycle
Livable Streets East Coast Alpine
Hubway Alta Bicycle Share

Bike & Pedestrian Safety Day features ride-ready bike safety checks, fittings, bike safety demonstrations, and free safety giveaways including helmets, lights, and reflectors. In addition to safety tip sheets and brochures, the Bike Safety Committee has distributed 15,000 bike safety-related items including bike helmets, flashlights, lights, and reflectors.

Bike, Motorist & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement

9/24/2012 BU
Boston and Brookline Police Cycling and Motorist Enforcement along Commonwealth Ave.

9/26/2012 BU
Boston and Brookline Police Cycling and Motorist Enforcement along Commonwealth Ave.

9/28/2012 BU
Boston and Brookline Police Cycling and Motorist Enforcement along Commonwealth Ave.

10/18/2012 BU
Boston and Brookline Bike Patrol Officers distributed free bike helmets, safety tip sheets, light, and reflectors to cyclists along Commonwealth Ave.

Cycling, Pedestrian & Motorist Safety Campaigns

In 2010, the Bike Safety Committee designed and installed “Look Left for Bikes” stencils in every Commonwealth Ave. crosswalk from Kenmore Square to Babcock Street.

The Bike Safety Committee has produced safety campaigns each semester since its inception in 2008. These campaigns have covered cycling safety tips, laws, helmets, and bike lanes. These materials were distributed throughout the campus via the use of posters, window clings, emails, campus mailbox inserts, websites, table tents, BUS ads, and campus TVs.

Latest Survey Results

Experience

  • 85% of those who replied had a bicycle on campus
  • 86% rode their bikes at least once a week
  • 95% rated their cycling ability as good / very good / excellent
  • 75% considered themselves to be experienced urban riders

Safety

  • 18% never wore a helmet
  • 19% rode on occasion without a helmet
  • 60% were familiar with local and state cycling laws
  • 46% always obeyed cycling laws
  • 70% did not feel safe when riding on Commonwealth Ave.

Bike Racks

  • 85% frequently or occasionally locked their bikes to something other than a bike rack
  • 61% could not find a space at a bike rack

According to those surveyed, the top campus locations where additional bike racks are needed are:

  • CAS
  • Cummington Mall
  • South Campus
  • FitRec
  • Warren Towers
  • SMG
  • Marsh Plaza
  • Bay State Road
  • GSU

Feedback

There was a consistent theme to the comments, suggestions, and concerns. Ranked in order of frequency, they are:

BU Bridge / University Road:

  • Bike safety
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Traffic congestion / gridlock

Bike Lane:

  • Pedestrians and vehicles blocking the route
  • Proximity to parked cars and moving traffic (doored cyclists)
  • Requests to extend it to Packard’s Corner
  • Requests for increased signage and awareness

Bike Racks:

  • Increase in numbers campus wide
  • Increase in interior and covered bike racks and storage

Enforcement:

  • Increased enforcement by University and city police of cycling, motorist, and pedestrian laws
  • Removal of bicycles that are abandoned or impact personal safety

The Bike Safety Committee reviewed the responses, including the additional comments and suggestions submitted by nearly 50% of the respondents. Based on the data and your suggestions, we are doing the following:

Bike Racks – Interior & Exterior

Bike parking capacity prior to 8/22/2008

1,535

Bike parking capacity added since 8/22/2008

2,050

Percentage increase in bike parking capacity since 8/22/2008

134%

Total bike parking capacity as of 11/02/2009

3,585

Total bike parking capacity as of 12/01/2012 3,742

When the Bike Safety Committee was formed in 2008, there was space to park 1,535 bicycles at external racks on the Charles River Campus. As of November 2009, that capacity had grown to 3,585 spaces, which was an increase of approximately 134 percent. The number of bicycle parking spaces continues to increase each year in response to riders’ requests and operational needs.

2009/2010 Bike Safety Committee Agenda

  • The Bike Safety Committee has hired an outside consulting firm to evaluate the following issues:
    • Evaluate the existing cycling, pedestrian and motorist conditions in and around the University Road/BU Bridge section of Commonwealth Avenue and offer short-term solutions related to signage, equipment and the sequence timing of the lights
  • We will continue to work through the Office of Government and Community Affairs to petition the City for increased signage and enforcement.
  • Continue our participation with the City’s Boston Bike Share Evaluation Committee to bring a bike share program to the City of Boston, including the Charles River and Medical campuses
    • On August 12th, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council announced it had selected a vendor for a bike-sharing program. A Canadian company, the Public Bike System Company, was selected to bring a network of bike-sharing stations to Boston, and plans to expand the system into Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline shortly afterward.
  • Increase education and awareness through the University’s cycling and pedestrian safety campaigns. This cycling, pedestrian and motorist safety campaign will include posters, videos, and publications.
  • Continue co-hosting Bike & Pedestrian Safety Day.
    • This year’s event was held on Marsh Plaza on Thursday, September 10th. The event featured local bike shops, BU clubs, BUPD, and community advocacy groups. Students, faculty and staff were given free bicycle maintenance checks, fittings, and bike registration as well as safety demonstrations, group safety ride sign-ups, and gear giveaways. Congratulations to Ruthie Beane Jean of the School of Engineering’s Student Services who won the grand prize; a 2010 Trek District Bike.
  • Continue to identify and install interior and exterior bike racks and continue to investigate shelters for some exterior racks
  • Identify strategic on-campus locations where existing City parking meter spaces can be converted into bike parking
  • Monitor the issues related to the possible extension of the Commonwealth Avenue bike lane beyond the BU Bridge
  • Explore the addition of new bike paths leading to and through the Charles River Campus
  • Evaluate the current use of the Saint Mary’s Bridge and make recommendations for possible bike lane(s)